Must Read: Dying For Justice

The Insti­tute of Race Rela­tions pub­lished Dying for Justice which gives the back­ground on 509 people (an aver­age of twenty-two per year) from BAME (Black, Asi­an and Minor­ity groups), refugee and migrant com­munit­ies who have died between 1991–2014 in sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances in which the police, pris­on author­it­ies or immig­ra­tion deten­tion officers have been implic­ated.

It con­cludes that:

> a large pro­por­tion of these deaths have involved undue for­ce and many more a culp­able lack of care;
> des­pite crit­ic­al nar­rat­ive ver­dicts warn­ing of dan­ger­ous pro­ced­ures and the pro­lif­er­a­tion of guidelines, les­sons are not being learnt; people die in sim­il­ar ways year on year;
> although inquest jur­ies have delivered ver­dicts of unlaw­ful killing in at least twelve cases, no one has been con­victed for their part in these deaths over the two and a half dec­ades of the research;
> privat­isa­tion and sub-con­tract­ing of cus­todi­al, health and oth­er ser­vices com­pounds con­cerns and makes it harder to call agen­cies to account;
> fam­ily and com­munity cam­paigns have been cru­cial in bring­ing about any change in insti­tu­tions and pro­ced­ures.

COM­MENTS:

‘If the Macph­er­son report was inten­ded as a way of restor­ing com­munity faith in the Brit­ish police, the issue of deaths in cus­tody is the one which is con­stantly under­min­ing it. As more deaths take place and no one is ever pro­sec­uted, it inev­it­ably sows seeds of incredu­lity, anger and des­pair.’ Har­mit Ath­wal, co-edit­or of Dying for Justice

‘The pro­cesses and pro­ced­ures for get­ting justice are all smoke-and-mir­rors, par­tic­u­larly for those fam­il­ies, friends and com­munit­ies dev­ast­ated by cus­tody death loss and then made to suf­fer no-answers grief with no one held account­able. ‘ Colin Prescod, IRR Chair

‘There needs to be a mech­an­ism for state insti­tu­tions and the private com­pan­ies they employ to be held to account when people die. The lack of account­ab­il­ity over black deaths in cus­tody is a glob­al issue and one that will not go away until urgently addressed.’ Deborah Coles, Co-dir­ect­or INQUEST

For more inform­a­tion or to down­load a copy of the report please vis­it: http://www.irr.org.uk/news/dying-for-justice/

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Gata Malandra

Gata Malandra

Edit­or / Research­er at No Bounds
Gata is a music and arts lov­er, stud­ied anthro­po­logy, art man­age­ment and media pro­duc­tion ded­ic­at­ing most of her time to cre­at­ive pro­jects pro­duced by No Bounds.
Gata Malandra

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About Gata Malandra

Gata Malandra
Gata is a music and arts lover, studied anthropology, art management and media production dedicating most of her time to creative projects produced by No Bounds.

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